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Wednesday, March 3, 2010

TED-X Long Beach

Last night the Council approved my agenda item calling for the City of Long Beach to obtain a license (free of charge) for a Long Beach TED-X conference.

For the past two years, the Long Beach Convention Center has been the venue for TED.

According to its website: "TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design.

"Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with the annual TED Conference in Long Beach, California, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK, TED includes the award winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Program, the new TEDx community program, this year's TEDlndia Conference and the annual TED Prize.

"TEDx was created in the spirit of TED's mission, 'ideas worth spreading.' The program is designed to give communities, organizations and individuals the opportunity to stimulate dialogue through TED-like experiences at the local level.

"At TEDx events, unique talks given by live speakers combine with TEDTalks videos to spark deep conversation and connections. TEDx events are fully planned and coordinated independently, on a community-by-community basis."

A TEDx event is being planned and hosted by numerous cities (such as Manhattan Beach, Monterey, Boston, San Francisco and New York) as a way on a local level to:
1. Educate and inspire
2. Bring together innovators and explorers
3. Encourage the responsible use of resources and talents
4. Foster an environment of sharing and embracing passions.

A TEDxLong Beach would give the residents of the City of Long Beach the opportunity to experience and to participate in this innovative way to build a stronger and better community.

  • The annual TED conference in Long Beach charges $6,000 a person to attend and limits who can attend.
  • There is no charge for a community to receive a license from TED to organize a TEDx event.
  • More and more cities across the U.S. and around the world are holding TEDx events in their communities.
  • TEDx events are usually free of charge to attendees.
  • TED provides a step by step video and website outlining how to organize and conduct a TEDx event in our community at
  • In every community that hosts a TEDx, the event is "sold out" within days of announcement and sparks on-going community discussions beyond the event.

Business license tax exemptions for artists

I raised some questions last night at council as to why we would waive business licenses for artists while so many small businesses are struggling in the city.

  • The home business license is $198 a year.
  • We don't have a definition of "artist."
  • We don't know how many home businesses or artist businesses this waiver would cover.
  • We still would need businesses to register with the city so that we don't have a proliferation of businesses operating without licenses.
I have a home business license because I am a writer and when I sell my books I have to be licensed as a business and I have to pay sales tax. The 5th Council district has a large number of home based businesses --because quite frankly it is the small business that is creating employment right now.

The arts are important to a community. But so is business and I don't want the city encouraging one type of business over another. Either give all small businesses a break on business licenses for a year or don't single out one type of business.

Save Station 18

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